Friday, July 30, 2010

Squirt Getting Married

I ran out to Walgreen's after bobby pins earlier today, and while I was there, it occurred to me that I probably needed to pick up a card for my brother's wedding tomorrow. Standing in line in the Walgreens, I looked down at the card. Despite the wedding plans that have been going on for months, the trips to get my bridesmaid's dress, even pulling things out of the closet for the reception tomorrow, it didn't hit me until I looked down at that card.

My little brother is getting married.

Oh, it's kind of hit me previously, but mostly in a "What the hell?" kind of way. No, today it really hit me solidly and seriously. My little brother is getting married. Tomorrow. Tears might have threatened. Note to self: waterproof mascara.

I still want to make a snarky "what the hell?" kind of statement, but I won't. But working out what to say seriously is a whole lot harder.

Squirt, you've been a pain in my ass for twenty years. But you're my pain in the ass, and while there might be some experiences I would have traded in, I think I'd hold on to most of them. You still piss me off and irritate the hell out of me, but I do the same to you, and I don't imagine that's going to change any.

And after all, I don't really know what I would do without that particularly unique pain in my ass. But I've gotten snarky (big surprise).

Congratulations, little brother. I wish you all the happiness in the world (and then some).

Your sis

Sunday, July 25, 2010

EReaders, critical pedagogy and no fun.

Here's an interesting article on the various e-readers available on the market--interestingly, the IPad has apps to read books from both the Kindle and the Nook stores. Also, for those interested in trying them out first, Target is going to start selling the Kindle in stores.

I've spent most of the last week not reading anything terrible interesting, mostly focusing on critical pedagogy research. I read the aforementioned Stanley Fish's Save the World on Your Own Time, read Kompel's Critical Pedagogy: An Introduction, most of Pat Bizzell's Academic Discourse and Critical Consciousness, and of course, the book that started it all, Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed.

Still not convinced that this is a good method. It presupposes that Marxist/leftist ideology is correct without investigating the dominant discourses behind it (oddly enough), it was meant for liberating the oppressed in Third World countries, and is often abused in practice (I speak from experience as one of the abused). It also seems strange to me to be using it in the American classroom, where to some extent, oppression really isn't an issue. I'm not saying that dominant discourses aren't being reproduced, etc. I'm saying that the very fact that our students live in the United States--and the fact that somehow or another, they are attending an institution of higher learning--

Well, I don't know what I'm saying. I'm still trying to work all this out in a way that's not going to sound like a right-wing diatribe, because that's not what I'm going for. Despite the fact that my fiance claims I'm a closet conservative, I think I'm closer to being a moderate. But I don't like the assumption that seems to be pervading a lot of this that conservatives are wholly reactionary and are committed to a dominant discourse that disenfranchises others. I don't think that's the goal of conservatives at all. And of course, anything I come up with is going to be drastically oversimplifying the situation. All this is simply my take on it, and I'm not even real sure of that.

So, like I said, no fun. Also, I'm now wondering, how long can pizza stay in the fridge? cause I just took a bite of mine and it's kinda nasty. *frowns*

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I don't like this at ALL.

I write like
James Joyce

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

My guess is that my overuse of the dash has been responsible for this travesty, but out of four different texts pasted in, I got James Joyce for three of them. I got Dan Brown for the first one, so I'll be happy with Joyce, I guess. Still, I maintain that of all the people I know who have claimed to have read Ulysses, I believe only one of them.

In other news, I'm finished with Yeats! That does not mean all the work is over; on my agenda for today is a 15-page journal review of College English which examines the trends in composition and rhetoric research.

But since Yeats is over, I've had time to read not school-related books, starting with, of course, Kim Harrison's White Witch, Black Curse. Read: Rachel Morgan getting herself into yet more trouble. Apparently, witches do like the Amish and shun members considered deviant. This is going to put Rachel into a world of hurt, and I'm looking forward to Black Magic Sanction and how she deals with the long-term consequences of all of that. Also, I was kinda disappointed in Marshal for running scared when she did get shunned, but I suppose that, to a certain extent, Harrison is putting forth a very realistic portrait of the modern woman's search for love. Con men who keep turning up like a bad penny, seemingly upright guys with no spine, backstabbing ghosts, faithful vampires... Seriously, though, I think a lot of women will recognize the underlying issues with some of these men and why they couldn't work out. And some of them will likewise recognize some of the good things--Kisten may have been a screwed up vampire, but he loved Rachel unconditionally (after all, he went up against Cincinatti's vampire leadership for her).

Besides that, I also treated myself to The Brazen Bride. It's marketed as a romance novel, fits the category. I've read almost all of Stephanie Lauren's books. They're well written, decently researched (she writes Regency romances) and always feature some really interesting characters that you remember when you've put the book down.

I feel that I should point out, in my own defense, that my next statement is made because I am trained as a literary critic to notice things. I notice patterns, things people like to do the same, etc. Stephanie Laurens generally likes to include three sex scenes in her romance novels. They usually take place in the latter half of the novel, and they follow a very particular pattern.

In some aspects, the title of her newest novel is entirely appropriate. Brazen is the word for it, because as I read, my first thought was...Wow, this is a lot of sex. So, to confirm, I went back and looked at one of her other novels. Yup, three scenes. Went back and looked through The Brazen Bride. Eight. Almost all of which were in the first 150 pages.

O.o? What? Seriously? Eight? I got halfway through the book and started wondering if there was a plot anywhere. There was, but the plot that has been driving this quartet of books was almost non-existent, and the hero losing his memory seemed contrived, as if she was trying to avoid having to deal with those chasing after him from India to England.

It was well written, don't get me wrong, but I prefer my romance novels to, you know, actually have a plot, and I was enjoying the plot of this quartet. And I am very much looking forward to reading the final book of the set, The Reckless Bride, when it comes out in November.

I've also added Holly Lisle's Talyn to the reading list, thanks to my favorite Snarky Writer, who loaned it to me. I've got Black Magic Sanction checked out from the library, and I have plenty to read in any case. I need to get back to Through the Looking Glass as well, so I can knock that off my reading list.

But schoolwork (that's due tomorrow) comes first. Here's hoping the cats don't go completely insane while I'm trying to do this. They've already made my morning interesting.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


I'm sorry, what was that? You heard frustrated screaming from this general direction?

I imagine that happened quite often to those who read Kim Harrison's For a Few Demons More. I hate it when people kill off characters I've become attached to.

Still, I can appreciate why she did it. It's a bit like when Chewbacca and Anakin Solo were killed in the New Jedi Order. It's to underscore just what a big bad the Yuuzhan Vong were. Did that help any? Hell no. We were all still pissed as all get out--R.A. Salvatore may be one of the most hated men to ever write Star Wars (though he's running a close race with Troy Denning, and it's not because Denning killed Anakin--it's because Denning's a hack).

I will say this: when it comes to painting characters into a corner, Kim Harrison does it better than anyone, including Jim Butcher. Harry Dresden may get himself in all kinds of trouble, but he can usually get out of it (the end of Changes not withstanding here, as I have no idea how he's going to get himself out of that particular corner without ruining the paint job). But Harry usually gets into trouble and then gets out of it for a little while, enjoying brief periods of peace. There's never quite the sense that Harry is actually responsible for most of his own scrapes--they just kind of happen.

Rachel Morgan, on the other hand, just keeps getting in deeper and deeper and deeper, and demons are far more dangerous than the Sidhe of the Dresden Files. I also finished up The Outlaw Demon Wails this afternoon, and it does present an interesting question about how far one will go to save their own lives--versus how far one will go to save the life of someone they love, as Harry Dresden often does.

Still, parts of it are frustrating. I, like the Snarky Writer who started me on this series, am ready for the whole Rachel/Ivy tension thing to resolve itself. It's no wonder they managed to find each other--despite the whole set up that put them together which I still don't think has been satisfactorily explained yet--because there was never a more screwed up pair of friends. And Rachel's relationships with men? Well, needless to say, Rachel is one of those Type A adrenaline junkies and it shows in literally everything she does.

I have plenty to read for the upcoming week, foremost being the last year's worth of issues from College English (booooring). Thursday is the end of Yeats, which means I can indulge in The Brazen Bride, which is currently sitting here mocking me. I need to be trying to finish Through the Looking Glass and what Alice Found There for my reading list. SW is bringing me a book by Holly Lisle, and perhaps if I ask nicely, White Witch, Black Curse--I'll be snagging Black Magic Sanction when I return my Yeats books to the library tomorrow morning. If Honest Abe was right when he said that "my best friend is one who will give me a book I have not read," then SW is definitely in the running for the top of that particular list.

Monday, July 5, 2010

A Long Weekend

Since my Yeats paper was turned in last week, and this weekend was a long weekend as well as my birthday weekend, I trekked back up to Kentucky for the first time in almost two months. Needless to say, I've had a good weekend, which began Thursday night when I was welcomed home by my parents, my dog and a cold diet Ale-8. My parents immediately gave me my birthday gift--a little stool in the shape of a cat! I went searching online for a picture of it, but I couldn't find one, so it will have to wait until I can borrow a camera.

On Friday, The Boy came in. He brought me a lovely new robe that is so very comfortable (I had been completely jealous of his) and a wonderful card from his mom and dad (it had bulldog puppies on the front!). My dad made dinner for all of us kids. It was nice to have almost all of our crew in our house--Oldest Brother came in, Middle Brother came in, but had to leave his fiance at home, as she was sick, and Youngest Brother also invited his girlfriend. We had a houseful, and it was wonderful. So much laughter. Afterwards, The Boy and I went out and met up with his brother and sister-in-law and some friends.

I slept late Saturday morning, then the Boy and I went to the quilt store to look for some fabric for his mama, then over to Gran and Bud's for lunch. Then the Boy went to visit his brother, and Youngest Brother and I went bowling (he's a freak of nature, by the way), watched fireworks in the backyard and played video games.

Oldest Brother came back over Sunday morning for breakfast, and Dad made French toast and sausage balls, which were both very, very tasty. Then the Boy and I ran to Lexington, stopped by to see CatieStorm, and made our way to Half-Price Books. I came away with the next two Kim Harrison books--A Few Demons More and The Outlaw Demon Wails--the latter being in hardcover and on clearance for two dollars. Also bought Richard Ellmann's Yeats: The Man and the Masks, because despite being as sick of Yeats as I am, I could see doing work on it later, and it's a definitive biography.

Then the Boy and I went and met with the cake decorator--we are going to have the most beautiful wedding cake ever. Then Dad made dinner (there was red velvet cake involved), we watched the John Wayne marathon on AMC and sat out on the porch and watched fireworks and enjoyed each other's company.

This morning, we both had to skedaddle, after Dad fixed another massive and delicious breakfast (I have eaten a ridiculous amount this weekend). I stopped by Walmart and stocked up on diet Ale-8 with the gift card my brothers had bought me. I also went ahead and snagged The Brazen Bride with it while I was there, with the proviso that I will not let myself read it until Thursday afternoon after Yeats is over for the semester.

I should be doing homework right now, but I stopped midway through my reading in order to eat dinner. I'm a little down right now--the end of my birthday, and I'm sitting in my apartment doing homework and missing the Boy terribly. I'm twenty-five now--officially, it's after 9:01 EDT--and this is the last (good) age milestone, since my car insurance has gone down! The next one is thirty. I don't know that I'm exactly where I thought I'd be at twenty-five, if I ever gave it that much thought. But I can't be unhappy with it. A little lonely, perhaps, but that won't last. This time next year, the Boy and I will be married, and I will have a hug just waiting for me. In the meantime, I will satisfy myself with my bad cats and my homework, which I better get back to. Yeats waits for no woman.